29 November 2022

On 26 October 2022, the Ministry of Law (“MinLaw”) published a notice from the Registrar of Regulated Dealers on recent and upcoming regulatory reforms in the precious stones and precious metals dealers (“PSMD”) sector. A summary is set out below.

Recent regulatory reforms

With feedback from the PSMD sector, MinLaw introduced the first tranche of regulatory reforms for greater efficiency and predictability, including the following:

  • Semi-annual returns (“SAR”): SAR was introduced in 2021 to help PSMD better understand their money laundering and terrorism financing (“ML/TF”) risk profiles and comply with regulatory requirements. Previously, most PSMD were unfamiliar with their ML/TF risk profiles and spent time extracting the required regulatory information. With SAR, PSMD can better self-assess their risk profiles for better compliance. It helps PSMD to provide accurate and timely regulatory data.
  • Dual-tier registration scheme: A more cost-efficient and equitable dual-tier PSMD registration scheme was introduced in 2021 to better commensurate with the level of supervision. Pre-reform, PSMD paid S$440 in regulatory fees per annum/outlet. Post-reform, PSMD register as Class A (if their regulated business is exposed to lower value products) at a rate of S$250 in fees per annum/outlet or Class B (exposed to higher value products) at a rate of S$350.
  • My Precious Stones and Precious Metals Dealer’s Portal (“myPal”): myPal is a one-stop secure portal that was introduced to procure, store, communicate and process regulatory information more efficiently and securely. It allows PSMD to submit or access relevant anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism and countering proliferation financing regulatory information. For example, dealers can access a screening module to download or conduct screening of customers against “monitoring lists” as part of customer due diligence. myPal also digitalises MinLaw’s regulatory work and facilitates data analysis.

Upcoming regulatory reforms

Upcoming reforms (“Regulatory Reforms 2.0”) will feature a more data-driven approach to regulation instead of a one-size-fits-all strategy. This sharpens the use of risk-based supervisory technology.

MinLaw states that Regulatory Reforms 2.0 will ultimately raise the effectiveness of its regime and generate greater competitive advantage for the “Singapore brand”. These regulatory outcomes can be more effectively achieved with MinLaw’s Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism Division and PSMD sector taking on specific responsibilities and shared ownership of supervisory objectives and outcomes.